Saturday, November 19, 2011
Minted Peas, Apple Stuffing and Red-Currant Cranberry Sauce
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Our holiday menu is falling into place. The soup, salad and main courses have been decided and it's time to finalize what the other dishes will be. I chose this pea and onion combination for its unique, minty flavor and the color punch it will add to a meal whose colors are, so far, at the beige and orange end of the spectrum. I'm going to use frozen vegetables to make this dish, and because we will be feeding a large number of people, it made more sense to buy large bags of vegetables and combine them, rather than use premixed heat and eat boxes. The recipe I use can be made stovetop or in a microwave. I'll be using the microwave because all the burners have already been claimed by other dishes. I really like this combination and I hope you'll give it a try. I do have one caution to share with you. If your mint leaves are large, tear or cut them into much smaller pieces and add them to the vegetables just before serving. Here's the recipe.
Minted Peas and Pearl Onions...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
2 cups (10-oz.) frozen pearl onions
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups frozen petite green peas
1/2 cup small fresh mint leaves
1) Stovetop: Heat butter and water in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in peas and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Do not overcook. Stir in mint. Serve immediately. Yield: 12 servings.
2) Microwave: Combine onions and peas in a large microwave container with a lid. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook on High power for 3 minutes. Stir. Cover again, and cook for an additional 3 minute, or until vegetables are tender. Drain off water. Add butter and salt and let sit until butter melts. Stir in mint. Serve immediately. Yield: 12 servings.
I had not intended to serve stuffing with our meal, but the Silver Fox convinced me that its absence would be conspicuous. Rather than use the dressing I normally serve with poultry, I decided to give this savory apple version a try. I'm so glad I did that. This marries beautifully with the brined pork loin and it requires no gravy because it is so moist. If you are still looking for a stuffing recipe, you might want to give this one a try. It is really very nice. Here's how its made.
Apple, Sage and Sausage Stuffing...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Whole Foods
1 loaf sourdough hearth bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 11 cups)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 pound fresh mild pork or chicken sausage, bulk or removed from casings
4 Braeburn, Gala or other apples, cored and diced
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread bread cubes out on two baking sheets and bake until dried but not browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
2) Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up chunks with a spoon, until browned, about 6 minutes. Add apples, celery, onion and butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until apple and vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes more. Add to bread. Stir in broth, sage, salt and pepper.
3) If using to stuff a turkey, cool completely before stuffing. If baking separately, heat oven to 350 degrees F; bake in a buttered casserole dish until lightly browned and crisp on top, 50 to 60 minutes. Yield: 12 to 14 servings.
This condiment is another attempt to bring vibrant color to the table. The sauce is sweet but not cloying. If you like heat, you might want to add hot pepper flakes to the ingredient list. Here's the base recipe.
Red-Currant Cranberry Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Martha Stewart
1 bag (12 ounces) frozen cranberries
1 jar (12 ounces) red-currant jelly
In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries and jelly. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have burst and liquid has reduced to a syrup, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, and let cool.